Mersey Care highlight problems of dementia with arts project

Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust has teamed up with the Open Eye Gallery in Liverpool to present a series of photographs that aim to highlight the problems of day to day life for dementia patients.


The exhibition is a collaboration between patients from Mersey Care’s Dementia SURF Group, the Open Exchange Gallery, Liverpool City Council and other local partners.


It is part of a ‘Culture Shifts’ programme and runs from 27-29 November at the Tate Exchange in Liverpool. The pictures have been taken by local photographer Tadhg Devlin with members of the SURF Group.


“Difficulties with visuospatial issues, or the way that we make sense of what we see can have a huge influence on a person’s life causing difficulties with many aspects of living that we generally take for granted,” explained Dr Sarah Butchard, a clinical psychologist with Mersey Care’s dementia programme.


“It’s hard to imagine that you may not be able to judge how far away something is, may not be able to recognise money, that patterns on carpets may make it look like the floor is moving or that you may look at cutlery and not know what to do with it but that is the reality for many people living with dementia.”


The series of images, which aim to depict how people living with dementia see everyday things that others take for granted, aim to help visitors to the exhibition appreciate some of the ways dementia can influence a person’s life.


The event opens on Sunday, 27 November with the SURF group members offering visitors on an alternative tour of Tate Liverpool and the surrounding area to experience how they perceive the world around them.


There will also be a live musical performance by Paul Hitchmough, a SURF member on the opening day, while Dr Butchard will host a talk on the role art plays in health and wellbeing on Tuesday, 29 November.